The National Scientific Infrastructure “Energy Storage and Hydrogen Energy” (NI SEVE) at Science Festival Sofia 2022

The ever-increasing needs of electricity for the economy, transport and household determine the current rapid pace of development of energy systems. This is accompanied by a risk for the protection of the ecological balance on a national, regional and global scale. The world, including Europe and Bulgaria, is united in its conviction and aspirations for the increasingly massive use of renewable energy sources in all spheres of economic life. In parallel, efforts are being made for decarbonization and zero emissions of technological production.

The European Union has its strategic plan for low-carbon energy technologies (SET-Plan) and provides conditions for the integration of Bulgaria in the implementation of the policies contained in the package of measures “Clean energy for all Europeans”. The effective participation of our country requires the mobilization and expansion of the existing scientific potential in our country to provide the necessary technological and expert assistance for business.

The National Scientific Infrastructure “Energy Storage and Hydrogen Energy” (NI SEVE), funded by the Ministry of Education and Science, is a unique thematic infrastructure for Bulgaria and the region, with expertise in the field of innovative technologies for energy storage and conversion from renewable energy sources sources. The initiative has already achieved success in achieving its main goal – to ensure the integration of the national scientific potential for the implementation of projects of an interdisciplinary nature, focused on the development, testing, monitoring and optimization of systems for accumulating energy from RES through batteries and hydrogen production. NI SEVE helps to overcome the thematic fragmentation in scientific research and provides opportunities for proactive interaction with companies that have an interest in the field of clean energy. An important aspect of NI SEVE’s activity is its participation in the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA), which greatly increases its capacity to create high-quality innovative developments and increases its recognition at the European level.

NI SEVE unites the experimental base and expert capacity of 5 scientific institutes of the BAS, 4 universities (in Sofia, Plovdiv and Blagoevgrad) and the Unified Innovation Center of the Academy. Construction started in 2018. Activities are carried out in 3 modules.

The integrated thematic laboratories in Module 1 “Research and testing of battery storage” and “Hydrogen energy with RES” have modern equipment for testing materials, components and products with application in clean energy production and storage systems. The laboratories offer a wide range of research services available to both project participants and external scientific organizations and industrial users.

Module 2 includes infrastructure platforms for high-tech developments, which are the basis for innovation, cooperation with industry and subsequent joint development activity in the commissioning of energy storage systems and hydrogen technologies. Two technological platforms are under construction: “Platform for the development of a new generation of fuel cells and batteries” and “Platform for the enrichment of natural gas with hydrogen”.

The third infrastructure module is aimed at effective management and dissemination of knowledge, e-science and technology transfer.

In the next video, the Institute of Electrochemistry and Energy Systems “Acad. Evgeni Budevski, coordinator of NI SEVE, will present the progress in the demonstration pilot plant built in Module 2 for the modern production of gas diffusion electrodes for batteries of the “Metal-Air” type. This type of “air battery” has reached a high level of technological readiness, has a high energy density and is considered an alternative to conventional energy storage batteries.

Video in Bulgarian (YouTube).